NBA Playoffs 2023

Louie Bain

The NBA finals are just around the corner with the start of the conference finals being May 17th. The Boston Celtics will face off against the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers are up against the Denver Nuggets. 

The Boston Celtics are coming off of a game 7 win against a tough Philadelphia team. The 76ers have the MVP in Joel Embid and an incredible facilitator and scorer in James Harden. The Game 7 showdown against the 76ers didn’t feel like a game 7 at the end of the night with the final score being 135 Boston to Philadelphia 87, the previous games didn’t seem to be this one-sided and I think the reasoning for Philadelphia’s shortcomings in game 7 had a lot to do with their shooting and not being able to convert on turnovers. Philadelphia seemed like they couldn’t buy a shot in game 7. The Boston Celtics on the other hand had full control of the defensive rebounds and also shot much better from the field making 56% of their shots, the Celtics also had no problem running the floor and getting in the paint to score. 

The Miami Heat are coming off of a game 6 win against the Knicks and seemed to have had a pretty easy relaxed playoff run to the conference finals, the Heat beat the Bucks in game 5 in the first round. The Miami Heat have a very well rounded and young team led by Jimmy Butler who has been going crazy in this year’s playoffs. Usually when a team is young it’s not good because of the lack of experience in the big games but for this Heat team it’s not the case. The Heat were deep into the playoffs like this in the 2022 season as well. 

Will the Miami Heats fast pace non-stop playing style be able to put Boston on their heels? I think that this will be one of the best, most competitive conference finals games due to the teams being similar in how  they’re well rounded and don’t just have a bunch of superstars and have a lot of roleplayers who make plays on defense and do their jobs, I think both teams have great chemistry. However I think that the Heat won’t be able to match Boston’s intensity coming out in the series nor do I think that Boston’s not gonna be able to contain Jimmy Butler and fluster the younger guys. Boston in 6!

The Western Conference finals is going to be jam-packed with star power and is also gonna be a very competitive series. The Los Angeles Lakers, led by Anthony Davis and Lebron James, have worked together to key victories over a young, talented memphis grizzlies team and a star powered Golden State team led by Stephen Curry. The all star duo in Lebron and Davis is a scary sight for the Denver Nuggets and they’re gonna have to work hard to contain the pair. The Denver Nuggets are led by Nikola Jocic who has been key in Denvers success in the playoffs, Jokic is having a MVP caliber season that carried on into the playoffs, alongside him Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordan, and Michael Porter Jr. have also had a huge role in the teams success. This Denver team is a very hard team to guard due to their elite floor spacing, the Lakers are gonna have to find a way to contain Jokic which is not an easy task. 

Will the All Star duo of Lebron and Davis be too much for Denver to handle or will Jokic be able to pull Denver to the finals? I think that the Los Angeles Lakers are going to be too much for Denver to handle, although Jokic is a massive defensive and offensive presence. Anthony Davis is arguably one of the best defenders, which is why I think Jokic won’t be able to perform as well as he has been. Lebron James is in his 26th season of professional basketball. I think Lebron realizes and notes that this might be one of his last chances to win another ring so I’m expecting another historical Lebron playoff performance.